Thursday, September 3, 2009







Back To School


School started this week for June and Aiden. Our little baby has graduated to the toddler room. No more cribs, nap time's now on cots. Sitting at the lunch table with the other chatty kids. Taking recess. It's hard to believe he was ever a baby.

For June this is the home stretch, which means commuting, and long days of back to back classes. She also gets to be the bad guy who drops Aiden off at daycare, while I, who am done with work mid-afternoon, gets to be the savior who picks him up. But no matter how mad he is in the morning, his face still lights up at the sight of her arriving home.

I think they both deserve a pat on the back and a job well done for growing up, sticking together, and achieving their goals (even Aiden doesn't completely understand them) Aiden for instance, will I'm sure, being saying "Laura" so much I'll get sick of hearing it... any day now.

Thanks for allowing the invasion.

Laura





Sunday, August 23, 2009

Eating Yogurt!

I have a friend who is really against parents taking pictures of kids with food on their faces. So Tom, if you're reading this, don't watch these videos.

Aiden has the fork thing mastered, now we're working on the spoon.



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And one more for good measure:



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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lake George

The Lake formerly known as Lac Du St. Sacrement

Laura, my mom and I took Aiden to Lake George for a few days. He had a little cold while we were there, but it was still a lot of fun. We spent our time wandering around the village and we even took him on one of the steamboats and into Fort William Henry. By the time we left he'd learned a new word: boat. He repeated it over and over as we walked along the docks, pointing to every single boat he saw.


Scenic Views



Ice Cream Face


Hanging out on the hotel balcony


Red Coats!

In the stocks....


Cannon Fire



Stocks again


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The hotel pool

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Silliness

Our house is full of silly lately.

Silly things like Aiden wearing Mr. Potato Head's glasses...


...around his neck.



He will wear the plastic yellow glasses like this for an hour, carefully reaching up to adjust them just so. I don't know why.


So sometimes you've got to be silly right back.


When Aiden won't sit still in the bath I like to do an operatic rendition of Queen of Memphis, and the combination of my horrible off-key voice and the fact that his mother is acting so strange usually gets him to sit still for a couple minutes.

A little bit of acting out does seem to help everything run more smoothly, because it keeps me from taking things too seriously and it keeps Aiden on his toes. (Until someone walks in and wonders what this escaped mental patient is doing with a toddler, that is).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sweetest Little Devil

When Aiden was born, the first weeks that followed left me wondering what we were in for, because it certainly seemed like I was unqualified. He was a bewildering creature that I was desperate to figure out. Then we got to know him, and life got easier. He could communicate a little, we developed a schedule, and he has been generally an easy going guy.

Then there are days like Tuesday, where I feel like I've been thrust back into those first weeks, feeling totally clueless as a parent. His last three teeth are all coming in at once, and it's been really hard for him, and in turn hard for me.

The day started out with him biting me so hard it nearly drew blood. This is a side effect of the teething, but still totally unacceptable, and it was one of those moments where I had to keep reminding myself that I'm the adult. I can deal with crying, messy diapers, and having someone cling to my leg, but being bit? Bit really hard? That's awful. Needless to say, it was a bad start to a bad day.

Then there was the awful scene of Aiden having an accident on the rug while I was trying to get his diaper on him. And, of course, mid accident he takes off running into the other room, leaving a horribly unsanitary trail behind him.

And then, while I was wrestling the chicken into the roasting pan before dinner, I turn to find him ripping up three packages of flash cards all over the rug. When he sees me coming to clean it up he starts ripping faster, and tossing the pieces with more vigor, as if he needed to get as much mess making in before I ruined it.

These incidents were just the creme filling in a day of screaming, tears and absolutely no nap taking.

When he was finally in bed I sat down, completely dazed by how strange and unpleasant the day had been. I was thinking back over everything that had happened, starting to wonder if this was a new phase, and what if tomorrow was like this again? The idea totally exhausted me.

Then I found this picture and it made me smile. It was taken over the weekend, when Sean was home, and everything seems much funnier and lighthearted when Sean's here. When I called him to tell him about the day it already started to feel like something I'd look back on and laugh. And luckily, he was an angel the next day.

Even though I know toddlers have bad days, they just seem much worse than everyone else's because, y'know, toddlers bite. So, next time you have a bad day at work be glad your boss and coworkers aren't teething.







Monday, July 20, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go

Yesterday afternoon we visited with my mom while she was working in her garden. It was a nice changed to be able to sit and read the paper on the lawn, while Aiden entertained himself with scooping up armfuls of pulled weeds and depositing them carefully in the back of the cart. Occasionally he'd get a little carried away and a stray tool would get tossed in along with the weeds.




Then grandpa came out to mow the lawn and gosh what a loud noise that made....





It's amazing how quickly his fear can turn into curiosity. He suddenly wants to know all about the very thing that scared him. See it, touch it, conquer it. That's something I think I can learn from him.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Time, and the Livin' Is Easy

Usually, the summer weather is so hot and sweltering that by late July I'm more comfortable in the air conditioning than out in the heat. Not this summer. It started off rainy, raining at least once nearly every day. Then the rain stopped but it stayed cool and breezy. This was nice for a while, it makes being outside with Aiden much more enjoyable, but I've been missing those hot hot days lately. Today, for the first time in what has seemed like ages, it's hot and sunny.


The picture of summer.
(Of course, Aiden wouldn't have such a squinched up face if he'd wear the sunglasses I bought him)


So, we met my mom for lunch at the club, and Aiden ran and splashed and tripped and fell all over the pool while we talked and ate. It felt like a little piece of summer finally fell into place. Yes, we were definitely missing the smell of sunblock, the way a wet swimsuit sticks to the concrete, and the prickly feel of noontime sun on your neck. Those little things that usually bug me about summer have been noticably absent, and it was nice to have a little reminder that yes, it is mid July and not late September.




Little surfer...



...Little one....



...Make my heart come all undone...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Trash Man

All kids have odd habits and quirks, the things you'll love to tell their future girlfriends about, and Aiden is no different. He's obsessed with dirt. I don't mean that he wants to go out in the garden and dig, I mean that any time he sees a little piece of dirt or lint or paper that I missed with the broom he's standing over it pointing and saying "Uh oh!" generally freaking out until someone picks it up.

In our own home it's kind of funny and cute, when we're at someone else's home it's a little embarrassing to have your kid pointing out any little piece of lint on their floor, and when we're in public he's always trying to get me to pick up God-knows-what that he stumbles across.

So, the other day after he finished eating dinner, I got him down from his highchair when he saw a noodle that had landed on the ground. He beelined for it and I, still being used to the baby days when anything picked up off the ground went straight into the mouth, lunged to grab it first. Well, he got a hold of it and took off with me chasing after.

To my surprised he practically slam dunked it into the garbage.




He looked up at me, shaking his head very seriously, and said "No no no".




It's like having a very small health inspector following behind me all day. He will never hesitate to let you know you've missed a spot.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Children's Museum

Encased in a giant bubble!


His Uncles will be so proud


So, making good on the promise to involve Aiden in enriching activities this summer, Laura and I took him to the Children's Museum. Basically, it's like a educational funhouse filled with exhibits about how everyday things, like a post office or bank, work. The kids can touch everything and climb on things and it seemed like a great idea.

And then we got there, arriving to a museum packed with two preschool summer camp groups filled with screeching five year olds rocketing around and totally blind to poor Aiden. Then I rethought the trip. Eventually they exited and Aiden really got to play with everything. He loved being able to climb on things and I loved that he was meeting some other kids.

He really must have had fun because when we left and were about to load him into the car he made a break for it and sprinted down the sidewalk and nearly around the corner heading straight for the museum before I caught him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Son of a Gun!

Mom, I totally heard that. God heard it too.


When Aiden was first born, and even when I was pregnant, I was hyper aware of the language I used and even what people around me were saying, as if his little brain were going to absorb any foul words and put them in a vault for use in kindergarten. I don't swear a lot, but I will occasionally if I'm in a particularly frustrated mood (this is something Sean likes to hold over me, as it would take a 747 dropping out of the sky and directly onto our kitchen for him to utter a swear word).

I think college is probably the culprit when it comes to my language indiscretions (I once had a professor who couldn't go two sentances without dropping an f-bomb). Being surrounded by it all day kind of makes you numb to it, which is not good when you're coming home to someone just learning words.

I have friends who have parents that always swore in front of them, but I did not. I vividly remember the only time I heard my mother swear when I was a child: she had driven my brother and I two hours to a water park only to realize she'd left her credit card at home. Only then did I catch a low whoosh of breathe that vaguely sounded like "sonofab-". I remember being in middle school the first time I ever said something you couldn't say on television and it actually made my mouth burn.

It's a sad commentary on our society that people have become so accustomed to swearing that they do it without thought, and expressing offense at it makes you look old fashioned. I'm always disappointed when I slip up, because I'm proud of having a varied and expansive vocabulary, and this type of language has become such crutch for Americans.

Needless to say, as Aiden enters into this highly impressionable period, I'm doing my best to reduce this language from 'occasionally' to 'never...except when that 747 drops out of the sky'. I'm trying to consciously replace the bad words with okay words, and I'm getting much better about it. It's still funny to hear my adult self saying things like "Cheese and rice!" "No good dirt bag!" and "Shut the front door!". (That last one is particularly satisfying to say, I don't know why, but Laura and I have fully embraced it). Other people definitly look sideways at you when you say them in public, but I'll take that any day if it means Aiden can embrace a decent vocabularly.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Going Fourth

For the 4th, since the house is starting to come together, I had some of my family and a couple friends over for a cookout. It turned into more of a cook-in as it was unseasonably cool and windy, but we eventually made it outdoors. Laura and I had a lot of fun coming up with a menu and decorating the house, although inevitably what was meant to be a long afternoon of food and drinks and enjoying the deck turned into everyone crowded around the kitchen table, inadequate seating and more food than we could've eaten in a week, which was actually pretty fun.

I had been really excited about having everyone over here, but about a half hour before everyone was supposed to get here I was wondering why on earth, after I've spent the last two weeks making sure everything is immaculate, I'd decided to have a party? But, I survived without having a coronary over spilled clam juice and smashed brownie crumbs, and everything is back to usual order.

I'm hoping that once more of the house is finished and Sean is finally home, we'll be able to have more holidays here. Right now my mother's house is typically where we all gather, and I know it'll be tough getting everyone on board and used to the idea, but I'll keep working on it. It's just a lot easier to have everyone here than packing up a carload of supplies for Aiden and trekking someplace else.

(you can click on these to enlarge them)


Baby stew: a delightful appetizer



Rice krispie treat beard



Ashley and Aiden



The infamous red wall



Talking about things with grandma

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yummy

Another perk about being home: always having someone to finish your dinner for you.



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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Dancing

Aiden has always loved his dad's glass front stereo, because he can see the CD turning around and around and he can just barely reach it to push the buttons. Whenever he wanders into our room he always makes a beeline for the stereo. We leave the same John Mayer CD in it and whenever he hears the first notes of "No Such Thing" he goes into this new and improved dance, which involves more flailing arms and staccato stomps and turns. He refuses to talk but by God he will dance.


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Some flailing arms....




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serpentine!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Adjusting

We're going to miss daddy while he's at school!


Now that we're mostly unpacked, we've begun the arduous task of sorting through old and new things, trying to figure out what we keep and what we toss, so that we can paint and reorganize the house. Each night this past week, while Sean was finishing up his last few work days in the city, I've started cleaning and painting and I'm making good progress.

All of the work gave me very little time to think about the fact that after tomorrow Sean will be in Boston full time until December, with only a couple weekends a month to be at home. Now that he's busy packing to leave I'm suddenly realizing that even though this week has been easy and busy, there's bound to be a time in the near future when I'm on the phone wailing, demanding he return at once and help me with this kid.

When it comes to taking care of Aiden I know I'm capable of doing it on my own, but it's certainly easier when he's here. I think a lot of people take for granted being able to turn to someone at the end of the night and have them tell you that everything's going to be okay and you're doing the best you can. I can call Sean whenever I need to, and we talk every evening, but having a warm hand to hold while you rehash your day can be the difference between conquering a mountain of problems or feeling like you're buried under it.

We're infinitely lucky to be around our friends and family now, they've all been so much help as we try and readjust once again. Our parents do so much to make sure we're okay, and my friends are always there to listen, and knowing that everyone's here to help has been a true saving grace.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Prodigy?





Here's a few photos I took of my father introducing Aiden to his passion, the guitar. I just received word that June's internet is back up and running, so I'm sure she'll have a full update soon. Enjoy!
~Laura (The Godmother)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Here...sort of!

So, we still have no internet, and running back and forth between houses to use the computer hasn't really panned out, but Sean will be here this weekend and I will really really try to get some stuff up. I'm borrowing my friend's computer at the moment.

We are (mostly) unpacked, and there were a couple days of serious hard labor involved, but it's given us the opportunity to clean out a lot of stuff we don't use and get ready to repaint the walls. We're still in a bit of a transition but Aiden has taken to the house and is completely happy with having a yard again. He loves to see his grandmas and grandpas and I've been enjoying that also. I think having so much family around has made having Daddy away a little bit easier.

As for the time between now and the day we get an internet connection I'll be trying to take a lot of pictures, hopefully only one more week till we're back online!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving Day


We're finally leaving in the morning. Hopefully everything will be moved and unpacked in a timely manner. Our own internet does not kick in until July first, so in the meantime I'll be running over to my moms to use their computer but I'll try to post something everyday.

In the meantime, back to the boxes...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whens-Day

After Aiden's nap yesterday I really got down to business and started pulling out boxes and putting away what we could afford to live without for a few days. I've managed to find a good balance between packing and getting ready while not filling the apartment with boxes that we have to fish through to find anything. That being said, Aiden is still wandering around looking at everything that's getting packed away and I can see the curiosity in his eyes.

For all of the stress that adults feel during a move, I have to wonder how hard it is for Aiden. For the past year and half we have been hopping from house to house in an effort to maintain as much family stability as possible (sounds like a huge paradox right?). When Aiden was first born, Sean had a week left in his semester, so he was in Boston while we stayed with my mother. A week later we moved to Sean's. Six months later, when Sean had to head back to Boston, we headed back to my mother's. Six months after that we moved to Brooklyn. Now, once again, we're heading back to Sean's. The moves were not bad at all when we shuffled between Sean and my mother, the houses are a couple streets away from each other and we made the moves to have the most family around as possible.

When we moved to Brooklyn it was a different story. For the first time Aiden wasn't around people he knew, it was very noisy and he'd never seen this place in his life. It took two weeks for him to stop clutching my leg every time I stood up. My heart broke for him. Moving home, I know he'll be fine even though Daddy will be away sometimes, because there are friends and family and all of the familiar things he knows.

The stress of moving it absolutly tempered knowing that this may be our last move for a long time. For all of the shuffling and moving and trying to figure out where we fit, I think that Sean, Aiden and I are finally going to be able to settle. So, for all my moaning and groaning, I'm going to keep that silver lining in my head.




A mover.......

....and a shaker





Packing Day Two

So, shockingly enough I actually got a little bit of packing done. I packed up most of our DVDS and books and wrapped our hanging pictures. And then....I sort of stopped. It seemed like a good start and it only took an hour or so, but I'm suddenly kind of lost as to what I do now. My mother called to check on progress and she kept throwing out suggestions of packing most of the clothes or most of the dishes but I am one of those people who cannot stand living out of boxes. I'd rather face four hours of maniacal packing on Thursday than the idea constantly fishing through bins for a casserole dish or a pair of jeans. I don't know. I'll figure it out.


The joy of moving your family


In other news, Laura had to leave today to get back to her own job. Having her here was a nice diversion from our regular routine, and the idea of getting back into town with her makes moving seem slightly more bearable.


Monday, June 15, 2009

A Good Start

You've got it made with the guy in shades...


So, it seems that Laura brought the sun with her when she came. The two straight weeks of rain seem to have ended and everything is drying out, which seems like a good omen for the move. Aiden even slept in this morning which is incredibly unusual, and completely lovely.It's been so great having her here and Aiden is stuck to her like glue.The only problem is that we'd both be perfectly content to sit, have a cup of coffee and chat the entire visit I really really really need to start packing. I've made her promise that she'll make me get up and at least start throwing things out and sorting this afternoon.

In the meantime, we've got a lot of chatting to do.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Countdown Begins!

My friend Laura arrives today to start helping Sean and I pack up the apartment. Laura is one of Aiden's favorite people in the whole wide world, so I'm certain he's going to be beside himself with joy.

Bestest Buds

Sean will have another week (or two? I can't remember) of work left, but Aiden and I will be heading back up state on Friday. Brooklyn has been a lot of fun, but I have to say I'm pretty eager to be closer to our families, in a house with a big yard for Aiden. Moving down here was one of the most stressful experiences I've had since, oh I don't know, giving birth and taking a Business Law final three days later. It took us FOREVER to find an apartment, which involved weeks of phonecalls and emails and a six hour wait in traffic on Manhatten the night before Thanksgiving. We moved in the week between Christmas and New Years, and the experience was...eye opening.

Our time down here has been a lot of fun, and the distance from our families has been both hard, and liberating. We've gotten a lot closer as a couple and as a family, and the time on our own has really made us feel more confident as parents. That being said, I am SO NOT EXCITED about going through the whole moving process again. Did I mention that when Sean is finished with work he'll be heading to Boston for school? So, once again Aiden and I are facing a few more months on our own until he graduates. We've done this once (last summer) so I know we can do it, and I think it'll be easier with Aiden being a little older, but we're going to miss him like crazy and look foward to the weekend visits.


Bring on the packing...

So...our last week begins. We're going to try and stay relaxed as we begin the big process all over again and hopefully it will go smoothly. Wish us luck!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Fort of His Own





Aiden built his first fort all by himself.
Pretty simple, and pretty perfect.